Is there a genuine claim against a non-compete clause for a company that operates in an industry with plenty of work to pass around?

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Is there a genuine claim against a non-compete clause for a company that operates in an industry with plenty of work to pass around?

Specifically for a resident working for a company registered in another state. The company isn’t even able to keep up with the volume of work now, therefore would not be effected by a new fish in the pond.

Asked on January 24, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Non-competes are contracts and are as enforceable as any other contracts. That means that it does not matter if the other party (the employer) isn't really affected by competition, or hasn't enforced non-competes in the past: they have the right to enforce the plain terms of  the non-compete against you, if they choose to do so.
That said, the law does impute some limitations to non-competes, limiting them to what is needed to achieve the purpose, of reasonably protecting an employer from potential competition. IF the former employer and your new venture operate in different markets--i.e. do not advertise or sell to the same customers--then a court might decline to enforce it against you. The issue isn't whether it's from a different state, or again, how much work there is to pass around--the issue is whether your new venture will compete for the same customers or dollars with the old employer.


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